Cyberattacks are on the rise as scammers take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by sending phishing emails, texts and phone calls claiming to be from legitimate organizations with information about COVID-19.
Phishing (pronounced fishing) is a term that describes an attempt to trick unsuspecting email recipients into taking an action such as opening an attachment, clicking on a link, or redirecting them to an infected website that results in a malicious outcome.
Did you know? 1 in 25 branded emails are a phishing email.*
One of the two most popular brands phishers is Microsoft (42%)*. Microsoft Office users are the most at risk because hackers often disguise their malware as Office file email attachments to trick users into clicking on them.
Did you know? 48% of malicious email attachments are Microsoft Office Files.*
TIP: Always check attachments before clicking or have them verified by your IT department to ensure that they are safe to open.
We’ve compiled some key indicators to spot a phishing email:
If you think you’ve received a phishing email:
- Report it
- Delete it
Reporting a fraudulent email to the organization being spoofed can help prevent other people from being victimized. To report a fraudulent email, be sure to send the email as an attachment.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has compiled a list of the reported scams exploiting COVID-19.
The government of Canada has information for Canadians about COVID-19, including a toll-free phone number and email address here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html